Classic Italian Panzanella finds a use for day-old bread by combining it with juicy tomatoes and vinaigrette. This surprising salad combination is full of sweet and crunchy cranberry focaccia, salty, crispy pancetta, creamy chèvre and fresh crisp asparagus, all brought together with cherry-cider vinaigrette that uses Over The Hill’s Prairie Cherry Spread.
Courtesy of ACE Bakery
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
For the vinaigrette, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, cherry spread and pepper together in a small bowl.
For the croutons, place the focaccia cubes in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add the garlic, sage and thyme and sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Pour the butter mixture over the focaccia cubes and toss to coat evenly.
Spread the cubes out onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the croutons until pale golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
For the salad, slice the radicchio into ½-inch (1.2-cm) ribbons and soak in a large bowl of iced water for at least 1 hour. This will crisp up the lettuce and remove any bitterness in the leaves. Drain and dry.
Steam or boil the asparagus until tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and plunge the asparagus into a large bowl of iced water to stop the cooking and to keep the bright green colour. When cool, drain and pat dry.
Combine the croutons, cooked pancetta, asparagus and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Add the radicchio to the salad and enough vinaigrette to coat, tossing to combine. Transfer salad to a large, shallow bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.